Rigor Tips for High Schools

Following the RPOS 10 Frameworks helps give direction to enhancing pathways and building the support to sustain it: 

The framework for the deliverables has forced us to ensure that we have a well-rounded program, one that has a cross curricular focus with the incorporation of math, science, and literacy skills.  - Emporia High School

10 Frameworks: Click Here


Promoting CTE not only in the school, but also in the community is the key to building awareness and support for new and growing pathways: 

Student TourThe first annual CTE Night held was a success. It was held on Monday, January 16, 2012, at NVHS. There were nearly 100 people in attendance. Parents and students of grades 7th - 11th were invited to see what different pathway offerings NVHS has and to learn more about each of them. 

The students and parents visited all five departments, including: Mr. Wertenberger, who teaches the Construction and Production pathways; Mr. Stanley, who teaches Mobile Equipment Maintenance; and Mrs. Jacobson, who teaches Early Child Development & Services and Family & Community Services pathways. They also visited Mrs. Baker, who teaches the Business Finance and Web & Digital Communications pathways and Mr. Philbrick, who teaches in the Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics pathway. There were refreshments and door prizes provided to end the evening. It was a great opportunity for parents and students to become more familiar with the CTE departments at NVHS!  - Nemaha Valley High School


Collaborating with post-secondary institutions gives added value to pathways by creating a smooth transition from high school, aligning competencies/courses, and promoting opportunities for students:

** The benefits of the developing relationships with our post-secondary partners have been one amazing outcome of the RPOS grant. It is great to see the collaboration between our teachers and the PS instructors, shared investment and commitment of leadership in coordinating articulation and planning events for our students, and it is especially rewarding to see the increased opportunities for our students to engage in campus visits, scholarship opportunities, and articulated credit agreements. - Wichita School District 

** It has forced more conversation, collaboration, and alignment between our school and our post-secondary partners, and it has opened doors with business partners through conversations with advisory committee members and post-secondary partners. - Emporia High School


Promote and celebrate CTE within your school, among your teachers, to parents and throughout the comunity: 

Whether you are providing general information to the community or informing students of the changes and opportunities with CTE, it needs to be available on a regular basis and through several media formats. CTE success relies on student, parent, and industry awareness of what is going on in your own pathways, the teachers in the classrooms, and what successes students are achieving to grow numbers and increase involvement. Through continued promotion, schools are able to bring in outside industry partners and postsecondary support that are essential to a pathway’s quality and rigor and will help shape the future plans of study that students develop for their own career opportunities.

ex. Wichita CTE Newsletters - KSDE


Business and Industry are key to keeping pathways current, student technical skills relevant, opportunities for stakeholders in the community to become involved and support the school:

Student TourOne of the most significant ways we keep current with regard to work readiness and technical skill development is through our Advisory committee work. Because of our involvement in RPOS, we have developed greater awareness of the importance of community partnerships and how there are reciprocal benefits for our students and our community when we work in collaboration. During our Spring Advisory Committee meeting, one important activity was to engage each advisory work group in a similar process designed to create/develop “pathway information sheets” that would include information for students, parents, educators, about secondary course sequence information, postsecondary program opportunities, articulation and college credit agreements, labor market data – projected employment trends and salary/wage information; sample occupational titles, career ladder/lattice information, required skill sets, and occupational credentials. The activity stimulated great discussions and exchange of ideas among teachers and business/industry advisors and served as an excellent first step in creating what will become a valuable resource to all stakeholders.

Another significant benefit that has come about due to our participation in the RPOS grant has been the relationship between Wichita Public Schools and the Wichita Manufacturing Association (WMA). The WMA extended WPS a free membership to participate in their monthly meetings which includes educational tours of local businesses involved in Manufacturing. Each month we have up to five members of our staff attend these meetings. In addition to learning about local business/industry and current technical and workforce skills required for success in that company, we are also developing relationships with members of the organization. As a result we have been able to coordinate field trips for our students, create externship positions, and event participate (give back) by serving on the WMA Board of Directors. This relationship is a true example of a win/win! . - Wichita School District


Keep administration and school boards up on the changes and successes of CTE in your school with regular reports on students, professional development, pathways, advisory committee involvement, and CTSO activities: 

In October of 2011, NVHS Staff presented to the USD 115 school board on CTE updates and new pathways. Each program area was represented and the board of education members were introduced to the new program titles and pathways. The board members were impressed with the number of programs a school our size has to offer and the large student enrollment in the programs. We informed the board of the RPOS grant and the benefits we saw for our school district. Since that presentation the board of education members have been very curious about the grant and have directed the administration to pursue the possibility of a Career and Technical Education Academy in this area.  - Nemaha Valley High School


Externships are helpful for not only students, but teachers and counselors to gain real-world experience and keep current on workforce trends or skills:

We have placed two high school guidance counselors, one from Heights and one from West, in “Externship” positions working with the Workforce Center and the City of Wichita Career Development Office during the month of June. During their externship, the counselors will participate in staff training and observe various services provided to clients in our community. They will work with the professionals assisting clients at the WFC beginning at the employment desk, then with labor laws, disability, and unemployment; in the resource center researching jobs, etc. The will also learn about Job Corps; work with various industry reps who specialize in different areas of industry to help facilitate the job search and placement for the client helping them set up an interview, develop a resume, etc. Finally, they will participate in workshops covering various topics such as dealing with job loss, resume writing, unemployment etc.

While working with the city of Wichita Career Development office, the counselor externs will participate in the STAR Workshop (Success Through Achievement & Responsibility) available to unemployed and/or underemployed adults in our community. They will learn about the various career assessments used in this office such as SCOPE, participate in Job readiness training, and shadow Employment Specialists as they guide clients through every aspect of getting and keeping a job.

By participating in the Externship Program, our counselors will have the benefit of learning about the economic and workforce needs of our community first hand while becoming equipped with the skills, knowledge, and awareness of resources available within our community to help meet those needs. Our plan is to have these counselors present what they learned to other counselors at a district counselor meeting, and possibly, have them present/share about the experience and the application of this learning at a professional conference for guidance counselors.

In addition, our participation in the RPOS grant has helped facilitate placement of teachers in externship positions in other pathways. We have two teachers working at the Cargill Food Innovation Center, in Food Science and Culinary Arts. Cargill has been an amazing partner and we expect great things to come from this partnership! - Wichita School District

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